1. What are the Celtics' prospects if Kevin Garnett is unavailable for the playoffs?
Ian Thomsen: They were able to stave off Orlando for the No. 2 seed without Garnett, so at the very least they're still one of the top three teams in the East. At best, they can exploit the home-court advantage to win a second-round series against the Magic, who have no latter-round experience in the playoffs. But I don't see how they'll be able to win a game or two in Cleveland's building unless Garnett miraculously returns or the Cavaliers themselves are weakened by injuries over the month ahead.
Jack McCallum: Garnett is their spiritual leader, and not just because of his over-the-top primal screaming. Playoff series are always partly about defensive schemes, figuring out how to stop a big scorer, like LeBron James or Dwyane Wade, over the course of five, six or seven games. Garnett keys the Celtics' schemes, and, without him, I don't think their defense is strong enough to get them to the conference finals. If he plays, I like them to beat the Magic and give the Cavs a test before going down.